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credit card points to earn 2023

The Best Credit Card Points to Earn This Year to Fuel Your Travels

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With travel demand at an all-time high and flight prices all over the place, it's the perfect time to turn to points and miles to save on your next trip.

As you get started, though, remember this: Not all credit card points and airline miles are created equally.

Some points programs are better than others, and that's where you should be focusing your attention as you plan your travels in 2024. Case in point: Scan this list of the top points to earn this year, and you won't find a single airline mileage program or hotel loyalty system. Flexibility with your points is more important than ever – and that's what this list is all about.

Read on for the best credit card points you can earn to fuel your 2024 adventures … and beyond.

 

 

Capital One Venture Miles

Capital One has made some huge improvements to its already valuable Venture Miles over the last few years. That wasn't an accident: It all coincided with the launch of their brand new premium travel credit card, the *venture x*, in late 2021.

That card currently offers a welcome bonus offer of 75,000 miles after spending $4,000 in the first three months of card membership. So does the standard *capital one venture card*.

But we think the Venture X might just be the single best travel rewards credit card we've seen. While it has an annual fee of $395, frequent (and even infrequent) travelers can easily offset that, thanks to just two of the many benefits the card offers.

But aside from all the great benefits provided by the Capital One Venture X Card and other Capital One cards, the reason to prioritize earning Venture Miles comes down to their flexibility and value. When it comes to redeeming Venture Miles, you'll have three options.

First, there's the ability to use points to cover almost all travel purchases from flights and hotels to rental cars and even Airbnbs, by far the easiest way to use your Venture Miles – or any points and miles, for that matter – to book travel and make it free.

Just use a Capital One Venture X, Venture, or even a VentureOne credit card to make a travel purchase, then go back and use your miles to erase the expense. Using your miles this way, every Venture Mile is worth 1 cent. That means you can cover a $500 flight, hotel, or rental car using 50,000 miles.

Read more: 9 Unique Ways to Use Capital One Miles for Travel

 

Venture X credit card

 

Next, there is a growing list of great transfer partners like Emirates, Singapore Airlines, Turkish Airlines, Air Canada Aeroplan, and more, which allow you to really maximize their value – especially if you want to book a business or first class seat. Take a look at the full list of Capital One Transfer partners below.

 

ProgramTypeRatioTransfer Time
AeromexicoAirline1:1Instant
Air Canada Aeroplan Airline1:1Instant
Air France/KLMAirline1:1Instant
Avianca LifeMilesAirline1:1Instant
British AirwaysAirline1:1Instant
Cathay Pacific AsiaMilesAirline1:1Up to five business days
Emirates Airline1:1Instant
EtihadAirline1:1Up to 1 day
EVA AirAirline2:1.5Up to five business days
FinnairAirline1:1Instant
QantasAirline1:1Instant
SingaporeAirline1:1Instant
TAP Air PortugalAirline1:1Same day
Turkish AirlinesAirline1:1Same day
Virgin RedOther1:1Same day
AccorHotel2:1Up to two business days
WyndhamHotel1:1Same day
Choice HotelsHotel1:1Same day

 

Read more: 7 Sweet Spots to Use Capital One Miles

Finally, you can book travel through the Capital One Travel portal using your Venture Miles. This method is especially useful for Venture X cardholders as you'll have a $300 annual travel credit to burn that must be used in the portal each and every year you hold the card.

With these three methods of booking travel, you'll have a ton of flexibility and options for your Venture Miles. That flexibility adds value and it's a big part of the reason we think Venture Miles are some of the best credit card points to earn this year.

 

How to Earn Capital One Venture Miles

The *venture x* is the bank’s very first premium travel card. Think of it as a souped-up version of the ever-popular Capital One Venture Rewards card that’s chock full of extra benefits: Access to Capital One Lounges and Priority Pass lounges, a $300 annual travel credit, a credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck, great travel and rental car insurance protection, and more. The annual fee clocks in at $395 a year, but the benefits can easily outweigh that. It's the reason why we think the Venture X annual fee shouldn't scare you off.

Here’s the best part: You can currently earn 75,000 Venture Miles after spending $4,000 in the first three months. Considering you earn at least 2x for every dollar you spend on the Venture X Card, you’ll earn a total of at least 83,000 Venture Miles.

Read our full review of the Capital One Venture X card!

 

*venture x*

 

Learn more about the *venture x*.

 

Meanwhile, the *capital one venture card* remains truly one of the best travel credit cards for beginners.

You earn 2x miles on every purchase and even get a credit that covers the cost of Global Entry or TSA PreCheck – all for a card with a $95 annual fee.

But, the true allure for beginners is the simplicity it provides when using miles to cover your travel purchases. Just charge any travel expense – flights, hotels, Airbnbs, tours, excursions, and even Disney park tickets – to your Venture Card. Then go back to use points to wipe the cost from your credit card statement.

Or, transfer Capital One miles straight to one of their 19 airline or hotel partners to maximize your miles. Capital One currently offers a welcome bonus of 75,000 miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within three months from account opening. This is equal to $750 in travel purchases or can be transferred for up to 75,000 miles with partner airlines or hotels.

Read our full review of the Capital One Venture card!

 

*capital one venture card*

 

Learn more about the *capital one venture card*

 

The Venture Rewards card isn’t the only card that can transfer miles. You can also transfer miles from the no-annual-fee *capital one ventureone* and the Capital One Spark Miles Select for business cards. The VentureOne card earns 1.25x miles per dollar spent on all purchases and the Spark Miles Select card earns 1.5x miles per dollar on all purchases.

The VentureOne card has no annual fee but offers lower miles-earning opportunities: 1.25X miles on every purchase, and you can currently earn bonus_miles_full

 

*Cap One VentureOne*

 

Learn more about the *Cap One VentureOne*.

 

Chase Ultimate Rewards Points

No points and miles earning strategy is complete without a stable of Chase Ultimate Rewards points. In fact, we recommend starting with Chase credit cards. That's because they get harder to acquire later on thanks to something called the Chase 5/24 Rule.

Like Capital One Venture Miles, the value of Chase Ultimate Rewards points comes from their flexibility.

When it comes time to redeem Ultimate Rewards points, you'll have three options. First, you'll be able to book travel through Chase Travel℠. When you go this route, you'll be able to book flights, hotels, rental cars, and more – and when you do, your points will be worth either 25% or 50% more, depending on which Chase Sapphire card you have.

 

Chase Sapphire Reserve vs Preferred

 

If you hold the *chase sapphire preferred*, your points will be worth 1.25 cents each through Chase Travel℠. Hold the *chase sapphire reserve*? Your points will be worth 1.5 cents apiece. So for example, booking a $750 flight would require 60,000 points for Sapphire Preferred cardholders and only 50,000 points for Reserve cardholders.

You'll also have the ability to send your Ultimate Rewards points to a list of Chase transfer partners. They have a bit of overlap on transfer partners with Capital One, but they also have a few unique options like United Airlines, Southwest Airlines, Hyatt, and more. Just as with Capital One, this is an excellent way to maximize the value of your Chase points.

Take a look at the full list of Capital One Transfer partners below.

 

ProgramTypeTransfer RatioTransfer Time
Aer LingusAirline1:1Instant
Air Canada AeroplanAirline1:1Instant
Air France/KLMAirline1:1Instant
British AirwaysAirline1:1Instant
EmiratesAirline1:1Instant
Iberia PlusAirline1:1Instant
JetBlueAirline1:1Instant
Singapore AirAirline1:112-24 hours
Southwest AirlinesAirline1:1Instant
United AirlinesAirline1:1Instant
Virgin AtlanticAirline1:1Instant
World of HyattHotel1:1Instant
IHGHotel1:11 day
Marriott RewardsHotel1:12 days

 

Admittedly, utilizing the Chase transfer partners effectively will take a little bit more work, but it is the top way to get outsized value out of your Ultimate Rewards points.

Read more: 10 Great Ways to Spend Chase Ultimate Rewards Points

 

How to Earn Chase Ultimate Rewards Points

The *chase sapphire preferred* is easily the best place to start.

bonus_miles_full

You’ll also earn 3x points for every $1 spent on dining, including eligible delivery services. You’ll earn 3x points per dollar spent on online grocery purchases, 3x points per dollar spent on select streaming services, and 2x points per dollar spent on travel purchases.

With just a $95 annual fee, it’s more than reasonable. And considering your points are more valuable when booking through Chase Travel℠ (or much more by using some of the transfer partners mentioned above), that’s a ton of value for a cheap travel credit card.

Read our full review of the Chase Sapphire Preferred!

 

*chase sapphire preferred*

 

Learn more about the *csp*.

 

For the more seasoned traveler looking for premium perks, the *chase sapphire reserve* is still a great option. That’s because it comes with an outstanding set of benefits like an easy-to-use $300 annual travel credit, access to Chase Sapphire Lounges and a free Priority Pass lounge membership, up to $100 toward TSA PreCheck, Global Entry, or Nexus enrollment, and much more. Those perks can easily outweigh the $550 annual fee.

bonus_miles_full

If you hold the Sapphire Reserve, every point gets you 1.5 cents when booking directly through Chase. You’ll also get 3x points on every travel and dining purchase.

 

*chase sapphire reserve*

 

Learn more about the *chase sapphire reserve*.

 

Unfortunately, you can’t stack both bonuses. Chase restricts cardholders to just one Sapphire card at a time, and you can’t earn the bonuses within 48 months of each other. These (and most Chase cards) also fall under the dreaded Chase 5/24 rule, which means you won’t get approved if you’ve opened five or more credit cards from any bank within the last 24 months.

That said, there’s another card that is a perfect complement to the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card. Actually, there are two.

Enter the Chase Freedom Flex℠ and *freedom unlimited* cards. These two Chase credit cards have no annual fee and typically earn cashback. But pair one with the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Reserve cards, and it forms a powerful tandem that can help you earn even more Chase Ultimate Rewards points.

Finally, small business owners should take a hard look at a pair of no-annual fee business cards: The *Ink Cash* and the *Ink Unlimited* both come with bonuses of up to $750 cash back after meeting the minimum spending requirements … with an easy path to turning the cash back into 75,000 Chase points.

Read next: Have a Chase Sapphire Card? Here's What to Do Next

 

American Express Membership Rewards Points

Another spot on the list of the best credit card points to earn this year are American Express Membership Rewards points.

We might sound like a broken record, but once again, the reason Membership Rewards points have a lot of value is due to their flexibility. You'll have two options for redeeming your Amex points.

First, you can use them to book travel through Amex's travel portal – dubbed Amex Travel. Each Amex point will be worth 1 cent, regardless of which American Express credit card you have. That means a $500 flight or hotel would cost 50,000 Membership Rewards points.

 

Amex Gold vs Platinum

 

But the real value for Amex Membership Rewards points, in particular, comes from the list of Amex transfer partners. Need to earn some Delta SkyMiles? You can transfer Membership Rewards points into your SkyMiles account to book some of the amazing Delta SkyMiles flash sales we send to our Thrifty Traveler Premium members.

But there are also great opportunities to send points to 15+ airlines for amazing value as well as a few hotel programs. for an amazing value. Again, you will find some overlap between both Capital One and Chase – and that's not a bad thing. But you will also find some unique options like Delta Air Lines, All Nippon Airways (ANA), and more.

Read more: Save Points When Booking Flights: Transfer Them to an Airline Partner

Check out the full list of Membership Rewards transfer partners below.

 

ProgramTypeTransfer RatioTransfer Time
Aer LingusAirline1:1Instant
AeroMexicoAirline1:1.63-5 days
Air Canada AeroplanAirline1:1Instant
Air France/KLMAirline1:1Instant
ANAAirline1:11-2 days
AviancaAirline1:1Instant
British AirwaysAirline1:1Instant
Cathay PacificAirline1:1Instant
DeltaAirline1:1Instant
EmiratesAirline1:1Instant
EtihadAirline1:1Instant
HawaiianAirline1:1Instant
IberiaAirline1:1Up to 24 hours
JetBlueAirline1.25:1Instant
QantasAirline1:1Instant
Qatar AirwaysAirline1:1Instant
SingaporeAirline1:1Instant
Virgin AtlanticAirline1:1Instant

 

Read more: The 10 Best Ways to Redeem Amex Membership Rewards Points

 

How to Earn Amex Membership Rewards Points

It starts off with an 80,000-point welcome bonus on *amex platinum card* after spending $8,000 within six months – and that alone is tough to beat. But you can do better.

Make sure to check to see if you are eligible for the outstanding 150,000-point offer via CardMatch! Otherwise, you can get at least a 100,000-point bonus through a targeted personal referral link or by searching for the Platinum Card in an incognito browser.

 

*amex platinum*

 

Learn more about *amex platinum*.

 

And then there’s the *amex gold card*, one of our favorite all-around cards, period. It earns 4x points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 each year, then 1x) and restaurants. You'll earn a welcome offer bonus of 60,000 Amex points after spending $6,000 within six months.

But you may be able to get a 75,000-point welcome bonus via CardMatch or a 90,000-point targeted offer via a personal referral link.

 

*amex gold card*

 

Learn more about the *amex gold*

 

With either card, you’ll have a hefty stash of points to put to use for some future travel that can easily offset their annual fees: $695 a year on the Amex Platinum (see rates & fees) and $250 for the Amex Gold Card (see rates & fees).

 

Bilt Rewards

Renters pay close attention: It's time to start earning points on your hefty monthly payments.

You can do it easily with Bilt Rewards. Bilt is a relative newcomer to the credit card and travel rewards game, but it has made a name for itself by allowing its cardholders to earn valuable transferrable points on monthly rent payments. Plus, the *Bilt Mastercard* has no annual fee.

Essentially, you can earn points on your rent payment no matter where you live.

If your landlord is a member of the Bilt Rewards Alliance, you can easily pay your rent electronically through the Bilt Rewards app by securely linking your bank account. Even if your landlord is not affiliated with Bilt Rewards, you can still pay rent through Bilt with a check, transaction fee-free, and earn points. That means that technically, any renter can use Bilt Rewards.

It's still hard to earn a ton of these points – especially if you don't have the Bilt Card. But they make up for it with an unbeatable stable of transfer partners that arguably make Bilt Rewards points the most valuable travel rewards currency in the world. You can transfer points to both American and United, Hyatt, and a handful of other lucrative options.

Here's the full list:

 

ProgramTypeTransfer Ratio
Aer Lingus AviosAirline1:1
Air France/KLM Flying BlueAirline1:1
Air Canada AeroplanAirline1:1
Alaska Airlines Mileage PlanAirline1:1
American Airlines AAdvantageAirline1:1
Avianca LifeMilesAirline1:1
British Airways AviosAirline1:1
Cathay Pacific Asia MilesAirline1:1
Emirates SkywardsAirline1:1
Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMilesAirline1:1
Iberia AviosAirline1:1
Turkish Miles & SmilesAirline1:1
United MileagePlusAirline1:1
Virgin Atlantic Flying ClubAirline1:1
World of HyattHotel1:1
IHG HotelsHotel1:1
Marriott BonvoyHotel1:1
Hilton Honors Hotel1:1

 

You can also redeem your points through the Bilt travel portal, but that's nowhere near as alluring as these transfer partners.

 

How to Earn Bilt Rewards Points

If you hold the Bilt Mastercard and make at least five transactions per statement period, you'll earn one point for each dollar of rent (up to 100,000 annually). That means a $2,000 rent payment = 2,000 Bilt points every month.

Read our full review of the Bilt Mastercard!

 

*bilt mastercard*

 

Learn more about the *Bilt Mastercard*.

 

You will also earn 2x points on travel when you book directly with an airline, hotel, car rental, or cruise line. Finally, the card will earn 3x points per dollar spent on dining plus 1x points per dollar spent on other purchases, as long as cardholders make a minimum of five card transactions in a statement period.

Bilt sweetens the deal on the first of each month with double the points on what it calls Bilt Rent Day.

 

Citi ThankYou® Points

Fair or not, Citi ThankYou® points are considered by many to be worth less than other credit card points … but that doesn't mean they're worthless. No, far from it.

You'll typically get the most value out of your ThankYou points by moving them to one of Citi's transfer partners for an award booking. In all, there are 14 airlines and four hotel loyalty programs that partner with Citi … and some are better than others.

Here's the full list:

 

ProgramTypeTransfer RatioTransfer Time
AeromexicoAirline1:1Instant
Air France/KLM Airline1:1Instant
Avianca LifeMilesAirline1:1Instant
Cathay PacificAirline1:112-24 hours
EmiratesAirline1:1Instant
Etihad Airline1:1Instant
EVA AirAirline1:11-3 days
JetBlueAirline1:1* Instant
QantasAirline1:11-2 days
Qatar AirwaysAirline1:11-2 days
SingaporeAirline1:112-48 hours
Thai AirwaysAirline1:14-7 days
Turkish AirlinesAirline1:1Instant
Virgin AtlanticAirline1:1Instant
AccorHotel2:1TBD
Choice HotelsHotel1:2*Instant
Wyndham RewardsHotel1:1*Instant
The Leading Hotels of the World (LHW) Hotel1:0.2TBD

*Only transfers 1:1 to JetBlue or Wyndham and 1:2 to Choice Privileges if you have the Citi Strata Premier Card or the Citi Prestige Card (discontinued). If you only have the Citi Double Cash Card, Citi Rewards+ Card, or the Citi Custom Cash Card, your points will transfer to JetBlue or Wyndham at a 1:0.8 ratio (1,000 points = 800 JetBlue points).

 

If you prefer not to wade into the murky waters of transfer partners, you can also redeem your ThankYou points directly through the Citi Travel℠ portal. When you use your points like this, you'll get 1 cent per point in value. This means that if you were looking to fly from Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP) to Chicago O'Hare (ORD) and your flight cost $71.10, you could instead use 7,110 ThankYou points instead of paying cash for your ticket.

 

Citi Travel flight booking

 

Redeeming ThankYou points like this doesn't yield the same outsized value that you can get when utilizing Citi's unique set of transfer partners, but it's admittedly a far simpler option.

 

How to Earn Citi ThankYou® Points

The *citi premier* is our favorite card that earns Citi ThankYou points, and it's not particularly close.

With the current welcome offer, you'll get 70,000 ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first three months of card membership – and the annual fee is a reasonable $95 each year. Beyond the big bonus, you can continue racking up rewards by earning 3x points per dollar spent at restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel, and at hotels on an unlimited amount of spending.

Plus, you get a $100 annual hotel credit when you spend $500 or more on a single hotel stay that is booked through the Citi ThankYou travel portal. Honestly, the Strata Premier Card might be one of the most underrated cards out there.

Read our full review of the Citi Strata Premier Card!

 

*citi premier*

 

Learn more about the *citi premier*.

 

If you're looking for a no-annual-fee card, you'll be hard-pressed to find a better option than the *citi double cash*.

With the card's current welcome offer, you can earn a $200 cashback bonus after spending $1,500 within the first six months of card membership.

But what makes this bonus even better is that it's actually awarded as 20,000 Citi ThankYou Points. That means if you've also got the Citi Strata Premier Card in your wallet, you can transfer your bonus to Citi's travel partners and get even greater value out of the points than cash alone.

This card earns 2% cash back or 2x ThankYou® Points on every dollar you spend (1x point after making the purchase, and another 1x point after paying your bill).

 

*citi double cash*

 

Learn more about the *citi double cash*.

 

Bottom Line

Focusing on these four points currencies will open up literally hundreds, if not thousands, of possible redemption options. It's the beauty of transferrable credit card points and why they should be at the forefront of your points and miles earning strategy this year and every year.

So, stop swiping your airline credit card everywhere you go and start focusing on piling up these points.

 

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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